Tourism April 13, 2016 | 11:45 am

Dominican Republic highlands languish as Govt. agency slumbers

Santiago.- Cibao Ecological Society (SOECI) formerpresident Nelson Bautista on Wednesday warned that Constanza’s (central) riversface "sudden death" from unchecked soil exploitation and the devastationof wetlands and watersheds.

The environmentalist’s assertion about Constanzas’sembattled mountains and valleys, is the latest complaint of a deterioratedregion, but which has spurred only a timid response from the EnvironmentMinistry.

Bautista, who heads theGreen Action Foundation, said only a handful of low-ranking officials in "commissions"investigate complaints on the onslaught against Constanza’s environment, includingthe clearing and tilling of lands done at night or on holidays.

"But what’s most obvious still is the deafening soundof the dozens of water pumps, the distressing view of rugged hills razed and turnedto badlands leading to eroded soil, the grim landscape of vacant lots andwilted crops from a lack of water. There’s no way to hide this tragedy," theenvironmentalist said, quoted by

He said he has been denouncing an increase in intensive andexpanding agriculture for some time which he affirms goes beyond the boundariesof the valley’s established farm areas and found aggression against Constanza’smountainous slopes.

"There is an open competition to reach higher andhigher into the hills and harvest in continuous cycles. To the extent thatsoils are depleted, water is scarce, going farther and farther to exploit the soiland this does not seem to interest the authorities."

He said it’s widely known that supposed businessmen, governmentand military officials from part of the new "investors" in the cityof Constanza.

Bautista said Constanza’s highlands “are the center for morethan half of the water for human use and agriculture’s backbone, and supply thecountry’s major population centers."

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